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HomeGovernmentDC preparing to tack "vanity" fee on heavy vehicles -- including construction...

DC preparing to tack “vanity” fee on heavy vehicles — including construction trucks

The District is preparing to introduce significantly higher registration fees for heavy vehicles — intending to discourage (or hit in the pocket) owners who purchase them for vanity.

But businesses which need these trucks for work — like hauling construction equipment or carrying debris — will need to pay the same extra costs.

The Drive reports that DC officials are considering whether to raise the fees for vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds to $500. Presently, the maximum fee is $115 and the fee for cars lighter than 3,500 pounds is $72.00

“The proposal has already passed through the city’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment unanimously and was recently approved as part of the overall budget package for the city,” CleanTechnia reported. “If signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, it could add $40 million to the city’s general fund over the next five years.”

Electric vehicles get a bit of a break — the fee would only apply if they weigh more than 7,000 pounds.

“Part of the rationale for the proposal is to protect pedestrians, although they tend to come off second best in any confrontation with a motor vehicle,” the published story says. “The bigger issue, though, is that crowded Washington DC simply doesn’t have room for the growing fleet of super-sized vehicles.”

“There are places in the country where people need work trucks to do actual work — transporting livestock or hauling construction machinery, for example. DC is not one of those places. There is a growing market for bigger, heavier trucks in the nation’s capitol, however. It’s a real life game of ;mine’s bigger than yours’ in a city where manifestations of power are an integral part of the culture.”

Maybe some contractors are driving Chevrolet Suburbans, or Jeep Grand Wagoners, or (most glaringly) Hummers, so, by the proposed new rules, they should pay for their bravado. But it’s just another painful tax on legitimate construction businesses who really need heavy equipment to do their heavy jobs.

Mark Buckshon
Mark Buckshonhttps://washingtonconstructionnews.com
Mark Buckshon is the publisher and interim editor of Washington Construction News. He is also president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies. He combines a journalism and business background, and has published construction trade publications for more than 30 years, after an earlier career in journalism, which culminated when he lived through the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1978-80 as a sub-editor for the Bulawayo Chronicle and a correspondent for a Canadian news service.

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